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Charging money for mods.

13

Comments

  • CaloNordCaloNord Member Posts: 1,799
    ^^ That is what scares me. . . ^^

    What happens if these bugs don't turn up in the first 24 hours? Most of us can't binge all day to explore all the content as fast as possible and make sure it all works like it should. . .

    Flashburn
  • mlnevesemlnevese Member, Moderator Posts: 9,134
    That's why I always wait for a few days before buying software...

    elminster
  • the_spyderthe_spyder Member Posts: 5,017
    I personally don't have a problem with the concept. Equally it doesn't surprise me that most of the money is going to the distributors as I am pretty sure that even the companies that develop games pay a decent amount for the distribution channel. In concept, none of this is "Wrong" in my mind per say.

    Which basically means that I think it is a functional revenue channel and I am surprised that someone hasn't thought of it before.

    However... I would be very surprised if this is a trend that the modders or the consumers will pursue with any vigor for any period of time. I suspect that a lot of the rancor that is showing it's face in this thread is merely the tip of the iceberg. I also suspect that the really innovative and best modders probably do it out of love more than anything else and probably won't be signing on. It will generally be the mediocre modders (and a few of the better ones just to test the waters) that are looking to cash in. Those that really love it will find this just as distasteful as we all do (and despite my first paragraph, I also find it distasteful, just not SATAN incarnate).

    I suspect this fad will die the ill fated death that it deserves and we will all go about our lives forgetting about this dark chapter. Or not...

    booinyoureyesFlashburn
  • elminsterelminster Member, Developer Posts: 15,765
    edited April 2015
    CaloNord said:

    ^^ That is what scares me. . . ^^

    What happens if these bugs don't turn up in the first 24 hours? Most of us can't binge all day to explore all the content as fast as possible and make sure it all works like it should. . .

    Isn't that the case with potentially any game on Steam? I've never tried getting a refund out of them but as I understand it they normally aren't too friendly to the idea. In fact their policy is apparently not to allow them at all.

    mlnevesejackjackCaloNordGodKaiserHell
  • CaloNordCaloNord Member Posts: 1,799
    edited April 2015
    Yup, and it's also one of the reasons why I don't like Steam. If I go to my local JB or EB I can buy something, bring it home, play it and if it turns out it's riddled with bugs, I just take it back. . . Problem solved. . .

    I usually only use steam for F2P things, massive sales or anthology/bundles of things.

    But that's part of a larger issue with Steam and digital distribution in general I suppose. I pay slightly more to get stuff from EB/JB but it has the additional security of at the very LEAST being able to get it transferred into store credit, usually they just give you cash.

  • booinyoureyesbooinyoureyes Member Posts: 6,162
    Flashburn said:

    Let's take a look at the quality offered by these paid mods, courtesy of Imgur.

    http://imgur.com/gallery/qFlFa

    Valve can stop playing this month-late April Fools' joke now but I suspect they are deathly serious. For those of you saying that paying for mods will increase their quality, remember:

    image

    I can't see a world in which quality does *not* increase when there is a profit motive. If a modder is already dedicated to fixing bugs then they will have even more reason to do so if they are compensated for it.

    There is a reason we play 20 US Dinero-Bucks for Icewind Dale Enhanced Edition instead of playing Angry Birds for free 24/7.

  • FinneousPJFinneousPJ Member Posts: 6,456
    @booinyoureyes They get the money from initial purchase, not support. Seeing as they are not employed, I don't see how they could be obligated to offer support either.

    jackjack
  • JuliusBorisovJuliusBorisov Member, Administrator, Moderator, Developer Posts: 17,701

    Never pay for a mod. The only add-ons I pay for are professionally done works by the game company.

    If us BG modders ever charged money, Bioware would have shut us down. Its clearly written in most game EULAs about tampering with the game and its files. Bioware was one of those cool companies back then. We made mods, didn't charge for them and it kept their game series alive with sales. They turned a blind eye as long as there was no profit to be made by us modders.

    Thanks for that, I appreciate your point of view, CoM_Solaufein! It means a lot to hear that from a big modder like you.

    Meanwhile, Trent Oster thinks otherwise:

  • elminsterelminster Member, Developer Posts: 15,765
    edited April 2015
    CaloNord said:

    Yup, and it's also one of the reasons why I don't like Steam. If I go to my local JB or EB I can buy something, bring it home, play it and if it turns out it's riddled with bugs, I just take it back. . . Problem solved. . .

    I usually only use steam for F2P things, massive sales or anthology/bundles of things.

    But that's part of a larger issue with Steam and digital distribution in general I suppose. I pay slightly more to get stuff from EB/JB but it has the additional security of at the very LEAST being able to get it transferred into store credit, usually they just give you cash.

    It seems like then one of the issues is a lack of mod review "infrastructure" if you will. A quick google search doesn't reveal any notable mod reviewing website for instance (there are mod review websites for specific games but no general website from what I can see). Which makes sense given that up until now there was no serious negatives (beyond maybe a re-install) when it came to installing a mod.

    Contrast that to PC games in general which have a ton. For me one of the areas where Valve has failed isn't the fact that they are allowing people to charge for mods. Instead its the fact that they didn't think to put any kind of a review system in place (beyond just allowing you to rate a mod with from * to *****). The kind of thing they have already for the games they sell.

    So basically I guess even if you wanted to buy a mod right now there isn't a proper review system in place for you to assess how well received a mod is from the people who have actually bought and played it.

    Post edited by elminster on
    mlnevese
  • mlnevesemlnevese Member, Moderator Posts: 9,134
    edited April 2015
    As much as I don't like some of the things Steam does, it is still one of the best places for international buyers with their policy of setting prices in local currency, saving buyers from Dollar and Euro fluctuations.

    elminsterjackjack
  • booinyoureyesbooinyoureyes Member Posts: 6,162

    @booinyoureyes They get the money from initial purchase, not support. Seeing as they are not employed, I don't see how they could be obligated to offer support either.

    @FinneousPJ But if their product is poorly reviewed with a bad reputation people will not purchase it and not be less likely to buy their future products. There are plenty of ways for people to check out mod reviews, and a */5 :star: rating system and a check on the mod's, or even better, game's forum could help with that.

    elminstermlnevesejackjack
  • FinneousPJFinneousPJ Member Posts: 6,456
    @booinyoureyes I find it unlikely that most people will commit to this so strongly as to start building a personal brand.

  • the_spyderthe_spyder Member Posts: 5,017
    @FinneousPJ - I'd disagree. I thing we already see it. Someone who is motivated to make mods is probably going to make a lot of them. We already know of several 'Names' in the modding community as it is today. Why wouldn't we continue to see that trend.

    booinyoureyes
  • CoM_SolaufeinCoM_Solaufein Member Posts: 2,584
    bengoshi said:

    Never pay for a mod. The only add-ons I pay for are professionally done works by the game company.

    If us BG modders ever charged money, Bioware would have shut us down. Its clearly written in most game EULAs about tampering with the game and its files. Bioware was one of those cool companies back then. We made mods, didn't charge for them and it kept their game series alive with sales. They turned a blind eye as long as there was no profit to be made by us modders.

    Thanks for that, I appreciate your point of view, CoM_Solaufein! It means a lot to hear that from a big modder like you.

    Meanwhile, Trent Oster thinks otherwise:

    Trent is wrong.

    People need not support paid mods. Once people see there is no money to be made, they'll go back to being free.

    FlashburnGodKaiserHelljackjackJuliusBorisov
  • FlashburnFlashburn Member Posts: 1,658
    The fundamental concept of paying first to use a mod is the complete antithesis to what modding is all about.

    It would be nice if modders got paid for their work but not if people are restricted from using what they make. Under the system that Valve has got going on, its much more likely that modding Skyrim will be killed on the Steam workshop as people scramble together barely-functioning pieces of crap in the hopes of making a quick buck. Everyone that isn't a sellout will flock to the Nexus to keep modding the way it should be.

    Either way, this spells disaster for Valve's previously sterling reputation. Skyrim used to be rated at 98% on Steam and it has fallen to 84% in just this short time, and it will only go lower. I know that 8chan has collaborated to send Valve hundreds of completely black pages to their fax machine as a sign of protest since ink is expensive. And check out the two most popular mods of the week on the Skyrim workshop.

    http://steamcommunity.com/sharedfiles/filedetails/?id=431467621

    http://steamcommunity.com/sharedfiles/filedetails/?id=431426494

    JuliusBorisov
  • FinneousPJFinneousPJ Member Posts: 6,456
    Fax machine? Which millennium is this again?

    FlashburnjackjackSilverstar
  • FlashburnFlashburn Member Posts: 1,658
    Heh. Valve has a fax number, though its more likely just an email inbox and some hapless intern is panicking as it clogs up with black pages.

    jackjack
  • SilverstarSilverstar Member Posts: 2,190
    I'm all for the concept of modders getting paid for their work, should they wish for it. My experience is that people generally don't make mods for the sake of finance though. I'm against some outside party taking a cut. In this case that's steam apparently. It's no secret I have a good amount of disdain for steam (it's DRM and all the "amazing features" people can't stop gushing is hardly unique to, or best on, steam), but a 75% cut?! That's outrageous. Now I have no idea what the mods are going for, but I imagine a couple bucks at most? The modders will get a mere pittance then and would be better off just putting a donate button on some weblog somewhere.

    Also, I don't think steam (and whoever else will pick up this practice) deserves a cut. They're doing what exactly? Hosting the file? Big whoop. There's any number of free sites and services that will let you host and download virtually anything. Unless steam intends to supply modding tools, offer support to and help modders advertise their product, they should keep their hands out of the till. And even if they did those things that's allready been done for free both by developers and internet communities for ages allready.

    typo_tillybooinyoureyes
  • the_spyderthe_spyder Member Posts: 5,017
    Flashburn said:

    The fundamental concept of paying first to use a mod is the complete antithesis to what modding is all about.

    I would disagree. I'd say paying the distributor MORE than paying the modder, THAT isn't cool. But in a sense, I agree (in principal) with what Trent said. If you do good work, you deserve to be rewarded. That is how a number of the smaller and independent houses started, by good modders/coders/developers doing the work and then asking people to pay for their product. This isn't that different, but since the one-offs don't have the capital to pay for marketing or distribution, Steam is coming in and crowbaring in a profit margin.

    Where this will probably fall down is that the actual moders will follow one of three paths (a) continue modding and doing what they love and distributing it for free (or for donations of grateful fans), (b) Get their work out enough such that companies will snatch them up and give them paying jobs based on their contributions, or (c) Form together into a coherent group or coalition with the leverage to be able to negotiate a better deal with distribution companies where they don't get ripped quite so badly.

    booinyoureyes
  • booinyoureyesbooinyoureyes Member Posts: 6,162
    Well, I don't see any reason why modders who choose to mod free of charge can't just... continue doing what they are doing. The only hiccup might be if someone steals their idea (or more than likely makes a similar mod independently) and then charges for it.

    Considering we pay for actually really important stuff like food and shelter I don't think we can be so upset about paying 1.99 to play awesome bard kits. I think some people are underplaying the benefits (more likely to fix bugged mods if paying customers are upset, maybe developers will be able to hire good voice actors if they see profit$ and other things)

    What I hope for if I pay for a mod
    image

    What some other people are predicting
    image

    I guess it will be somewhere in between (hopefully more Spongebob, less Saerilith... can someone make a mod where Porifera is a playable race?)

    jackjackJuliusBorisov
  • FinneousPJFinneousPJ Member Posts: 6,456

    Well, I don't see any reason why modders who choose to mod free of charge can't just... continue doing what they are doing. The only hiccup might be if someone steals their idea (or more than likely makes a similar mod independently) and then charges for it.

    Considering we pay for actually really important stuff like food and shelter I don't think we can be so upset about paying 1.99 to play awesome bard kits. I think some people are underplaying the benefits (more likely to fix bugged mods if paying customers are upset, maybe developers will be able to hire good voice actors if they see profit$ and other things)

    What I hope for if I pay for a mod
    image

    What some other people are predicting
    image

    I guess it will be somewhere in between (hopefully more Spongebob, less Saerilith... can someone make a mod where Porifera is a playable race?)

    @booinyoureyes You say "the benefits" as though it's a given they'll be there. I'm sorry but I remain sceptical. Also, I fail to be convinced why this is better than the modders asking for money directly. They could even put up a pay wall if they wanted to using paypal or something.

  • booinyoureyesbooinyoureyes Member Posts: 6,162

    Well, I don't see any reason why modders who choose to mod free of charge can't just... continue doing what they are doing. The only hiccup might be if someone steals their idea (or more than likely makes a similar mod independently) and then charges for it.

    Considering we pay for actually really important stuff like food and shelter I don't think we can be so upset about paying 1.99 to play awesome bard kits. I think some people are underplaying the benefits (more likely to fix bugged mods if paying customers are upset, maybe developers will be able to hire good voice actors if they see profit$ and other things)

    What I hope for if I pay for a mod
    image

    What some other people are predicting
    image

    I guess it will be somewhere in between (hopefully more Spongebob, less Saerilith... can someone make a mod where Porifera is a playable race?)

    @booinyoureyes You say "the benefits" as though it's a given they'll be there. I'm sorry but I remain sceptical. Also, I fail to be convinced why this is better than the modders asking for money directly. They could even put up a pay wall if they wanted to using paypal or something.
    Well, they don't own the rights to the game so they wouldn't be asking for money directly unless they paid the developers. There are also benefits to having a storefront when you sell a product. If there were no supermarkets in Manhattan I don't think farmers in Oklahoma would be very happy trying to sell their produce.

    iKrivetkoelminster
  • booinyoureyesbooinyoureyes Member Posts: 6,162
    edited April 2015


    Also, I don't think steam (and whoever else will pick up this practice) deserves a cut. They're doing what exactly? Hosting the file? Big whoop. There's any number of free sites and services that will let you host and download virtually anything. Unless steam intends to supply modding tools, offer support to and help modders advertise their product, they should keep their hands out of the till. And even if they did those things that's allready been done for free both by developers and internet communities for ages allready.

    Simply "hosting the file" is what Amazon does with Kindle, yet writers still love to have their product there because it sells more copies. You are more likely to be exposed to a mod that you may want to purchase if it is listed right below the game that is being modified.

    Another reason I think paid modding would be a good idea: even more incentive for developers to make their games more readily moddable. Wasn't that a main consideration in developing the EEs? I mean, if we really want to draw comparisons and split hairs, if you already own BG, BG2 or IWD isn't the EE basically just a big mod that we all paid for?

    mlnevese
  • BelanosBelanos Member Posts: 968

    I'm against some outside party taking a cut. In this case that's steam apparently.

    According to an article I was reading on the BBC website, it was Bethesda who set the rates, not Steam. Steam is no doubt just getting their usual distribution fee, while Bethesda is taking all the rest.

    booinyoureyesjackjack
  • booinyoureyesbooinyoureyes Member Posts: 6,162
    Belanos said:

    I'm against some outside party taking a cut. In this case that's steam apparently.

    According to an article I was reading on the BBC website, it was Bethesda who set the rates, not Steam. Steam is no doubt just getting their usual distribution fee, while Bethesda is taking all the rest.

    That makes infinitely more sense

    jackjack
  • mlnevesemlnevese Member, Moderator Posts: 9,134
    Hosting a file and dealing with monetary transactions, mainly in an international scenario, is quite costly actually.

    I should also add that from a legal point of view, unless the game developer allows it, a modder can't ask or accept donations for a mod. Most developers will turn a blind eye to mods as long as the mod author is not trying to monetize it in any way and asking/accepting donations is a way of monetizing mods.

    booinyoureyes
  • jackjackjackjack Member Posts: 3,247
    The candle that burns twice as bright, lasts half as long (…)

    JuliusBorisov
  • FlashburnFlashburn Member Posts: 1,658
    They'll try this again with Fallout 4 and TES VI which don't have already-well-established modding scenes.

    Just watch...

    jackjackKamigoroshiJuliusBorisovthe_spyder
  • elminsterelminster Member, Developer Posts: 15,765
    edited April 2015
    Ohh I'm sure they will. Their statement certainly didn't make them seem like they were interested in giving the idea up.

    KamigoroshijackjackJuliusBorisovmlnevese
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